Moving On Up

It’s been some week – three significant losses to the world. On Tuesday 3rd I had a previously reported session with The Box. One of the 45s that came up was a copy of Free Nelson Mandela by Amy Winehouse, given me by my friend Farrah. An unusual live recording, very very good but the record itself is strange, no label either side, pressed in a dull golden coloured vinyl. My friend and backgammon partner, Stuart, asked whether I’d heard how Mandela was now getting on and I said more of the same as far as I knew, in recovery to some extent. 2 days later Mandela suddenly passed on. Reflecting on his life, the predominant qualities for me were his peace and calm, focus and joy. This last in the sense that he seemed to take genuine pleasure in everything from winning the Rugby World Cup to dancing to meeting everyday people.

nelson mandela and child

That same Box session had begun with a tribute spin of Police and Thieves (both as performed by The Clash and Junior Murvin) to mark the passage of Junior Murvin that day to The Big Dance.

-junior-murvin police and thieves detail

Then two days ago I hear that Stan Tracey has moved on up to The Big Gig. I went to the excellent Edinburgh Jazz Festival this summer and my main mission was to see Bobby Wellins, who made Under Milk Wood with Stan Tracey. One of my favourite posts in Simple Pleasures part 4 is the one from St Patrick’s Day 2007 about the sublime Tracey & Wellins track Starless and Bible Black. At that performance in Edinburgh it turned out Stan Tracey was feeling unwell and couldn’t perform. I kept the notice as a souvenir. The same thing happened to me a few years earlier with Alice Coltrane – I had the ticket on my shelf but she died in the interim so I never got to see her perform. Likewise seeing Stan was not to be. That track, Starless and Bible Black, is genuinely one of the all-time greats.

stan tracey edinburgh ill

So three huge losses to humanity this week, to which we can only respond by counting our lucky stars that they were ever in our lives.

stan tracey at piano

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3 comments so far

  1. catalanbrian on

    Like you I also had tickets to see Alice Coltrane (at the Barbican, I believe) but sadly she had died a few days earlier. Thus I, too, never saw her play live. I did, however, have the good fortune to see Stan Tracey play a couple of times back in the ’70s.

    Like

  2. catalanbrian on

    Sadly no.

    Like


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